In May 2013, upon the initiative of Johannesburg-based designers Mohammad Jogie and Jacques Lange, the idea was born to honour Nelson Mandela’s life and 95th birthday with a collection of 95 posters.
Jogie and Lange founded The Mandela Poster Project Collective, a team of twelve South African designers, and launched a worldwide call for participation on the Internet. The competition received huge response: within 60 days, more than 700 posters were voluntarily submitted by designers from more than 70 countries, including works by Botswana designer Martin Joel, and South African designers Sindiso Nyoni, alias R!OT, and Gareth Steele. The collective selected 95 of them and curated an exhibition first shown at the University of Pretoria to great acclaim. The Mandela Poster Project was widely broadcast in the media, being covered by over 80 TV stations, international print and online channels, and finding echoes in the CNN, BBC and The Washington Post.
The exhibition is now traveling across the globe, with all proceeds donated to the Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital Trust. “The special thing about the Mandela Poster Project is that it was carried out as a voluntary initiative by a group of like-minded designers in honour of a great man and his contribution to humanity, and to celebrate the spirit of Mandela’s unlimited altruism,” says project co-founder Jacques Lange, emphasizing how “thanks to this selfless commitment of hundreds of creative people and many sponsors, we were able to create a positive example of real altruism.”